How did Docker (an open source start-up) attract former Red Hat Channel Chief Roger Egan to the company? The VAR Guy tracked down the answer by speaking with Egan and Docker CEO Ben Golub. Here's the scoop.

Let's start with the basics: Docker is an open-source project that allows developers to write portable applications. The applications, wrapped in a software container, can be easily moved from laptops to VMs, OpenStack clusters, public clouds and more.

Investors are intrigued. Docker recently raised $15 million in series B funding. Armed with that war chest, Golub hopes to eliminate the "matrix from hell" for developers. "You've got all types of servers, all types of different languages and frameworks, and all types of application versions to try and maintain across those platforms," he notes. Docker solves the problem by building a "container" for application code. Golub says the container approach will allow businesses and developers to more easily move applications from one system to another.

Once an applications is "containerized," it can run on any Linux server -- physical, virtual, Red Hat or another flavor, Golub added. So far, Docker says the company's ecosystem spans:

  • 400,000 downloads
  • 300 community developers
  • More than 5,000 "Dockerized" applications

Docker Business Priorities

With that vision and grass roots momentum in mind, Egan jumped at the chance to join Docker -- where he's busy building his latest partner ecosystem. Among the company's top priorities, according to Golub and Egan:

1. Getting Docker to the point where it is version 1.0 – ready for production. "We’re close but still a couple of month out," said Golub. "Next, we'll develop a great monetization model that’s partner friendly. My job was to hire Roger. now it’s Roger’s job is to deliver that monetization model. To make it a full solution, we need a robust set of partners to implemnent Docker.

2. Building the Partner Ecosystem: "We have so many requesrs for customers to be trained on this technology," said Egan. "We’ll build out a training program as quickly as possible -- though partners -- to get in front of customers.

3. Building Strategic Alliances. "Red Hat, obviously, is a good relationship for us. We’ll triangulate with partners. I know Linux. I know open source. And I know when I see an opportunity. Having spent a lot of time with Amazon and Google over the past 18 months, I understand the contraints of where we want to go as an industry" with cloud applications.

Docker also is speaking with regional systems integrators to ensure customers can move workloads from on-premises to the cloud. "This idea of Linux-based containers is taking off," said Egan. Obviously, Egan hopes channel partners will be along for the ride.